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CardioMender, MD Weight Loss Specialists aims to get to root of obesity problem

Published in Southwest Broward Forum

It seems that weight loss centers are springing up on every corner. Some claim they’ve found the magic bullet supplement to cure America’s obesity epidemic, others that they are physician supervised — in some cases simply because a physician is part owner or sometimes on premises of the business.

What most have in common, though, is that they attack the symptom of obesity through diets that work in the short term but don’t address the real cause and so fail in the long term.

“If you don’t address the root cause, the problem reoccurs. That’s the weight loss business,” says Dr. Barry Schiff, founder and medical director of CardioMender, MD Weight Loss Specialists, a medical science based weight loss and wellness center where patients are monitored by doctors who are specialists in cardiology and endocrinology.

Schiff built his program on the solid science of how the human body operates, what works for healthy weight reduction and, more importantly, what works for keeping the weight off. Schiff says that’s because his program is not only about seeing the numbers fall on the scale but also about making what are, in many cases, minor changes that lead to long term weight loss and wellness. Oftentimes, his patients reduce or totally stop taking medications that once addressed serious health concerns such as heart disease and type-2 diabetes.

Schiff says understanding how the human body reacts to proteins, fats and carbohydrates is the first step to healthy weight loss. Understanding how to navigate a fast paced world that is a minefield of bad food choices is second.

“Thousands years ago our ancestors had all the time in the world and needed to find the food to sustain themselves,” says Schiff. “Now we have little time and we increasingly rely on the food industry that provides foods that taste good and are readily available but not necessarily good for us.”

These foods are high in processed carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar as well as sodium and fat and are, in many cases, nearly devoid of the nutrients our bodies need. They taste good but they actually bring about cravings for more food, creating addictions.

Schiff calls it a perfect storm that led to the obesity epidemic. But he says there is reason to hope because understanding what caused the problem makes solving it achievable.

Schiff’s program begins with an extensive medical workup that helps him safely guide patients, even those very ill — ones with cardiac conditions, diabetes and a host of other ills — to weight loss and greater wellness. A food program emphasizing eating unprocessed foods that are available in the supermarket along with weekly follow-up visits, pharmaceutical grade supplements and appetite suppressants — in some cases — is the path to success for Schiff’s patients.

They routinely lose 5 to 10 lbs the first week, 15 to 20 lbs the first month and 25 to 35 lbs in two months.

And, most importantly after patients reach their goal weight, there is follow up. Schiff’s center offers maintenance for as little as $50 per month to help his patients. This is the final step to completing the dramatic shift in the way they live their lives so they can keep it off.

“It’s about support and self-empowerment,” says Schiff. “We try to empower each of our patients with knowledge and help them get on track and eventually not be dependent on us.”

Dr. Barry Schiff has served as both chief of staff and chairman of the Department of Medicine for Memorial Hospital Pembroke and is a Fellow in the American College of Cardiology. In 2009, Dr. Schiff was voted a Super Doctor by his peers as a cardiologist other physicians would choose to use.

Schiff supervises every patient’s plan and progress, making CardioMender MD the only cardiologist-supervised weight loss program in South Florida. And one of the physicians is always in the office and available when patients are seen.

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